Angel Yanagihara

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Angel Anne Yanagihara, Ph.D.
Angel Anne Yanagihara, Ph.D. is a world-renowned biochemist and the Director, Pacific Cnidaria Research Lab and researcher at the Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her work was the subject of a NOVA documentary. She was a technical advisor on Diana Nyad's fourth attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida as well as her fifth attempt across the Straits of Florida that turned out to be successful.



She is also creator of the box jellyfish skin ointment called Sting Stopper.

Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Dr. Yanagihara will speak at the 2013 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, a conference hosted and organised by Oswald Schmidt, Paschal Horgan, Captain Tom McCarthy, Ciaran O'Connor, Finbarr Hedderman, and Ned Denison in Cork, Ireland. The other presenters include Professor Tom Doyle, Trevor Woods, Dr. Lunt & Dr. Adams, Fergal Somerville, Kevin Murphy, Niek Kloots, Sally Minty-Gravett, and Wayne Soutter.


Dr. Yanagihara's research program is the systematic biochemical characterization of cubozoan venom. The current focus is on the Hawaiian box jelly Carybdea alata. Close cousins of this Box jellyfish (cubozoan) are the Australian carybdeids that can cause Irukandji syndrome and the lethal chirodropid, the Australian Box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

Dr. Yanagihara has patents and publications covering hemolysin, nematocysts, ultrastructure, discharge, pain receptors and venom, box jelly cardiotoxins, phylogeny of cubozoans, population dynamics, biodiversity of cnidarian venoms, and physalia flourescent proteins.


1. Family of Physalia Fluorescent Proteins, Angel Yanagihara ,TLG 337 Granted August 22, 2001; US 60/314,378

2. Centipede Fluorescent Compounds, Angel Yanagihara, TLG 347, Granted March 14, 2002; US 60/365,220

3. Treatment of Cnidaria intoxication, Angel Yanagihara, Jan Tytgat, Eva Cuypers, Everett Karlsson, filed June 9, 2006, W02007BE00056 20070611

4. Treatment of Cnidaria Intoxication with Vanilloid Receptor Antagonists Angel Yanagihara, Jan Tytgat, et al., filed Nov, 06, 2007, 07784888.6-1216 PCT/BE2007000056


1. Prasad, P., Yanagihara, A.A., Small-Howard, A.L., Turner, H., Stokes, A.J. Secretogranin III directs secretory vesicle biogenesis in mast cells in a manner dependent upon interaction with chromogranin A. J Immunol. 181(7):5024-34, Oct 1, 2008.

2. Cuypers, C., Yanagihara, A.A., Rainier, J.D., and Tytgat, J. TRPV1 as a key determinant in ciguatera and neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 361:214-217, 2007.

3. Cuypers, E., Yanagihara, A., Karlsson, E., Tytgat, J. Jellyfish and other cnidarian envenomations cause pain by affecting TRPV1 channels. FEBS Letters 580:5728-5732, 2006.

4. Watters, M.R., and Yanagihara, A.A. Marine toxins: Envenomations and contact toxins. American Academy of Neurology Course 5BS.003 Syllabus, 1-27, 2003.

5. Yanagihara, A.A., Kuroiwa, J.M.Y., Oliver, L., and Kunkel, D.D. The ultrastructure of nematocysts from the fishing tentacle of the Hawaiian bluebottle, Physalia utriculus (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Siphonophora). Hydrobiologia 489, 139-150, 2002.

6. Yanagihara, A.A., Kuroiwa, J.M.Y., and Kunkel, D.D. Ultrastructural characterization of nematocysts from the Hawaiian box jellyfish (Carybdea alata). Cell and Tissue Research 308, 307-318, 2002.

7. Yoshimoto, C.M., and Yanagihara, A.A. Cnidarian (coelenterate) envenomations in Hawai’i improve following heat application. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 96, 300-303, 2002.

8. Chung, J.J., Ratnapala, L.A., Cooke, I.M., and Yanagihara, A.A. Partial purification and characterization of a hemolysin (CAH1) from Hawaiian box jellyfish (Carybdea alata) venom. Toxicon 39, 981-990, 2001.

9. Smith, A.A., Brooker, T., and Brooker, G. Expression of rat mRNA coding for hormone-stimulated adenylate cyclase in Xenopus oocytes. FASEB Journal 1:380-387, 1987.


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